The UFO image over West Sussex that has perplexed Philip Mantle
July 6 1997: The UFO photo that has perplexed a UFO investigator for YEARS
by Jon Austin
This photograph of an apparent flying saucer over West Sussex nearly 10 years ago is one of the most perplexing images a professional UFO researcher has ever seen.
Former director of investigations for the British UFO Research Association (BUFORA), Philip Mantle, is still scratching his head over the photograph from July 6 1997.
Mr Mantle was contacted by the Sunday Mirror, shortly after the picture was submitted to the national title, to comment on it.
But, he said the sighting never made it to print.
He has now blogged about the image that has puzzled him ever since on flyingdiskpress.blogspot.co.uk.
Mr Mantle said: "I was fortunate to be able to liaise with UFO researchers around the world and work with the national news media on many occasions.
"One of the many national newspapers I worked with down the years was the Sunday Mirror in the UK.
A close up made by the Sunday Mirror
"In July 1997 they had an alleged UFO photograph submitted to them and they asked me if I could look into it for them.
"The following has never been published anywhere.
Mr Mantle was handed a letter the cameraman sent the Sunday Mirror on July 11th that year.
The letter said: "I am sure you must often get “spoof & crank mail” but trust this will not fall into that category before you check for authenticity.
"While getting ready to return home from a family outing, just as I was getting into my car I saw this strange sighting!
"I quickly opened my car boot, grabbed my camera and managed to get the enclosed shot.
"The object was in the sky for a very short time and it did appear to change shape before it went out of sight. I have the negatives in my possession and they can be inspected under full laboratory scrutiny if requested."
I have photographed military aircraft in the past, also hot air balloons but never have I see anything quite like this, in fact I must admit I have always been rather sceptical of the UFO reports, but this incident now has me perplexed." Mr Mantle said: "Despite writing to RC, I never did find out any more about this alleged UFO photograph.
"I have used the photograph in question here plus an enlargement that the Sunday Mirror made at the time.
"I will leave you to make up your own mind about it.
"Does the photograph show a UFO or an IFO (identified flying object)?
"Although such alleged UFO photo cases can often leave your frustrated as this one from West Sussex did, it was nonetheless very heartening to be able to build up a good working relationship with the national news media here in the UK."
Thanks to Philip Mantle and http://www.express.co.uk/